Have you ever had to stretch out your arm so you could read the words on the book you’re holding? Or are you having headaches more often? These are signs that you might need to visit your eye doctor for an eye exam because you may need reading glasses. In case you have some apprehensions, here are some basics about reading glasses to ease your fears.

Q: What are reading glasses?

A: Available without a written prescription, these glasses are used by people who are having difficulty reading because of failing vision, usually because of conditions like presbyopia (an age-related eye problem where one has issues focusing on nearby objects) or hyperopia (also known as farsightedness, where the sufferer has similar symptoms to presbyopia but is caused by decreased curvature of the cornea, lens or eyeball).

Reading glasses are also known as generic readers or ready-readers, and can be bought at an optometrist’s or even at a pharmacy.

Q: What kinds of reading glasses are there?

The most basic types are the full-framed ones and the half-eyed type.

The first kind is recommended for people who need to focus on nearby objects for longer periods of time, and therefore need a wider field of vision for closer materials. However, this may mean that objects at a distance may become blurry when seen through these glasses.

On the other hand the half eye or half-moon reading glasses, though some may consider them rather unfashionable, are great for those who need to double task. If someone’s work involves looking at close-by objects in addition to items that are far away, then this is their best option.

From these two basic types, there are other kinds with more specific functions like computer eyeglasses, which are used by those who spend a lot of time working on the computer and are designed to block monitor glare; reading sunglasses, which are used by those who do a lot of reading outdoors and need protection from the sun –they’re basically tinted reading glasses; makeup glasses, worn by those who need to apply make-up; and bifocals, which are optimized for both close-range and distance corrective vision.

Q: How do I know for sure if I need reading glasses?

A: There are several ways to know if you need reading glasses, here are some of them:

  • If you’ve noticed that you’ve been holding a book several inches away from your face because you can’t focus on the letters when they’re closer, you may need reading glasses.
  • If you’re having trouble seeing what you’re sewing, writing, or cooking, then you may need reading glasses.
  • If you’ve been feeling dizzy often and your eyes have been feeling strained pretty frequently as of late, then you may need reading glasses.

Of course the best way to be certain is to visit your eye doctor to have an eye examination. While it is true that reading glasses are non-prescription, it’s recommended to have your eyes checked regularly by an eye doctor so that you know your condition can be solved with over-the-counter glasses, or if there’s another underlying issue, especially if your leading indicator is headache spells.

If you’re lucky enough to reside in Greenacres, Florida, or if you’re from nearby Lantana, Boynton Beach, Wellington or Royal Palm Springs, Dr. Hetel Bhakta can help you figure out whether you’re due for reading glasses. As a board certified optometric physician, Dr. Bhakta has had years of training and experience helping people with various vision problems.

Planet Vision Eyecare is located on Lake Worth Road, Greenacres, Florida where Dr. Bhakta holds her practice. Here you will find a great selection of eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses to suit your taste and needs.